JOAN OF ARC

We were watching a programme the other night on Joan of Arc and I reflected that it is very rare for me to entirely espouse the English point of view. Then I figured out why I was so hostile to her. It’s the God question.

Joan of Arc, whether you admire her or not, was an extraordinary person, who as a teenage girl declared that God had sent her with a message for the king of France. She was sent to take charge of his army and to fight the English. God would be on their side; she would drive the English out of France, and he then the Dauphin, would duly be crowned king of France in their traditional place for coronations which was Rheims Cathedral. He had been unable to be crowned at Rheims (the French equivalent of Scone (pronounced Scoon) in Scotland as it was in the hands of the English.)

God knows the English have a habit of going where they have no business, and the fact that I share their view of Joan does not imply any sympathy for their cause in France.

But I have the greatest suspicion of people to whom God has entrusted a mission, (allegedly, generally by themselves) especially one which requires other people to carry out this mission as well. I think such people are either deluded or charlatans. I think personally that Joan of Arc made it all up – that she was both attention seeking and delusional. Why should she (or indeed anyone) have a hot line to God? Why should she be in charge of the army when she had no military experience? France (at that time) was partly under English occupation. Her visions were proved to be in error and she (God’s own woman of high destiny according to her) fell into the hands of the English and was burnt at the stake as an heretic, the English not being magnanimous in victory.   She certainly had ‘bottle’ but she lacked the guile ad strategic planning and caution necessary to be a military success.   Her chief talent seemed to be in self publicity.   She was a celebrity in her day

Incidentally in these cases where the Virgin Mary has allegedly appeared to some peasant girl, she never has anything in the least novel, or interesting or news-worthy to say, but just repeats such platitudes as might occur to an uneducated person. I am not so unspiritual as to deny that mystical experiences do exist. However, I firmly believe that these experiences are for the see-er of the vision alone, and he should not attempt to subvert other people to his vision. Neither do I agree with the medical profession which tends to the view that these experiences represent a brain malfunction, an aspect of disease (though they may do in some cases.) Every person who dreams a dream, or sees a vision, has to integrate that experience into their psyche, however best they can, or dismiss it as of no account. But it’s a problem for them alone.

I completely disapprove of the habit of mankind of declaring people to be saints. Who are we to say? Our own behaviour falls so far short that I doubt if we could recognise a saint (supposing such a thing exists.)

The whole thing reminds me of the woman who in a dream was being chased by her psychiatrist. She kept running and running in increasing terror until eventually she was backed into a corner and in despair said over her shoulder to her pursuer: What are you going to do to me? Lady, he replied. It’s your dream.

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new words

PROROGATION

I love it when a new word arrives in our language. Well, the word I have in mind is not exactly new. Genuinely new words are generally born of modern technology, and here I have to confess that even when given an easy words explanation suitable for persons of low intellect, I have only a very vague idea of what it actually means.

Let’s take SatNav for example. I know it’s a shortened form of Satellite Navigation. This is, I would suggest, A Good Thing. I don’t know how we’d find our way about London without it. You put in your desired destination and it produces a map with yourself on it, and you follow your route on the map on the real road and it gets you to where you want to go. (Sometimes.) Ours once led us onto a dirt track in the middle of a field of cabbages, with a rusting shed nearby and announced, You have reached your destination. John (and Rory) are extremely reliable on the time and place of a meeting. If they say they will be, let us say at 98 Clontarf Road, Dublin on 26 August at 3 pm, then they will be sliding silently into place at 2. 59 pm. The downside of this is extreme stress if they are going to be late. John is also extremely reluctant to ask for directions. He seems to regard it as a point of honour that he shouldn’t. However, here there was no alternative. We quit the cabbage field and enquired in the next village. He came back all smiles. We were in Portugal, not Spain, and it was an hour earlier than we had thought, and the hotel where we were meeting Anne Hall and her mother was just down the road, on the right.

However, I digress. Returning to the word SatNav; I don’t know whether I’m rendering it correctly; if it should be hyphenated, or spelt differently. But who cares, it’s not a ‘real’ word.

The word that is new to me (and should you be familiar with it, I bow low before your superior education) is PROROGUE. It’s apparently how Boris is going to emasculate parliament so he can get a No Deal Exit.

We were in a potting shed in Nyman’s gardens where they sell second hand books for £1 each. I spotted a book by one Adrian Room entitled Dictionary of Confusing Words and Meanings and fell on it with geeky pleasure.

Here on the first page is prorogation, along with abolition and dissolution. Abolition is the strongest and was applied to things generally held to be wrong, such as slavery and hanging. Dissolution was the taking apart of something (permanently) so a dissolution of parliament, or Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Prorogation is the discontinuing of parliamentary sittings without an actual dissolution. It is a perilous undertaking; persons who have attempted it in the past include Charles I, and Cromwell with his wonderful quote: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider ye might be mistaken. They didn’t think so then and they don’t now. When Jo Swinton, latest leader of the Lib-dems and as annoying a wee gynaff as you could hope to see – we’re going to get mighty sick of the sound of her voice – says she’ll fight with everything she’s got (I don’t think we need worry – it’s not a lot!) to prevent us from leaving Europe, I wonder how she’s got the nerve to call herself a democrat.

Perhaps she thinks (another useful entry in the book) she has refuted the arguments against following the referendum’s vote. But she hasn’t of course. She has only rebutted them.

Lots of fascinating things we can consider and discuss. What do you mean, you’d rather be in parliament​?,

PROROGATION

I love it when a new word arrives in our language. Well, the word I have in mind is not exactly new. Genuinely new words are generally born of modern technology, and here I have to confess that even when given an easy words explanation suitable for persons of low intellect, I have only a very vague idea of what it actually means.

Let’s take SatNav for example. I know it’s a shortened form of Satellite Navigation. This is, I would suggest, A Good Thing. I don’t know how we’d find our way about London without it. You put in your desired destination and it produces a map with yourself on it, and you follow your route on the map on the real road and it gets you to where you want to go. (Sometimes.) Ours once led us onto a dirt track in the middle of a field of cabbages, with a rusting shed nearby and announced, You have reached your destination. John (and Rory) are extremely reliable on the time and place of a meeting. If they say they will be, let us say at 98 Clontarf Road, Dublin on 26 August at 3 pm, then they will be sliding silently into place at 2. 59 pm. The downside of this is extreme stress if they are going to be late. John is also extremely reluctant to ask for directions. He seems to regard it as a point of honour that he shouldn’t. However, here there was no alternative. We quit the cabbage field and enquired in the next village. He came back all smiles. We were in Portugal, not Spain, and it was an hour earlier than we had thought, and the hotel where we were meeting Anne Hall and her mother was just down the road, on the right.

However, I digress. Returning to the word SatNav; I don’t know whether I’m rendering it correctly; if it should be hyphenated, or spelt differently. But who cares, it’s not a ‘real’ word.

The word that is new to me (and should you be familiar with it, I bow low before your superior education) is PROROGUE. It’s apparently how Boris is going to emasculate parliament so he can get a No Deal Exit.

We were in a potting shed in Nyman’s gardens where they sell second hand books for £1 each. I spotted a book by one Adrian Room entitled Dictionary of Confusing Words and Meanings and fell on it with geeky pleasure.

Here on the first page is prorogation, along with abolition and dissolution. Abolition is the strongest and was applied to things generally held to be wrong, such as slavery and hanging. Dissolution was the taking apart of something (permanently) so a dissolution of parliament, or Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Prorogation is the discontinuing of parliamentary sittings without an actual dissolution. It is a perilous undertaking; persons who have attempted it in the past include Charles I, and Cromwell with his wonderful quote: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider ye might be mistaken. They didn’t think so then and they don’t now. When Jo Swinton, latest leader of the Lib-dems and as annoying a wee gynaff as you could hope to see – we’re going to get mighty sick of the sound of her voice – says she’ll fight with everything she’s got (I don’t think we need worry – it’s not a lot!) to prevent us from leaving Europe, I wonder how she’s got the nerve to call herself a democrat.

Perhaps she thinks (another useful entry in the book) she has refuted the arguments against following the referendum’s vote. But she hasn’t of course. She has only rebutted them.

Lots of fascinating things we can consider and discuss. What do you mean, you’d rather be in parliament​?,

PROROGATION

I love it when a new word arrives in our language. Well, the word I have in mind is not exactly new. Genuinely new words are generally born of modern technology, and here I have to confess that even when given an easy words explanation suitable for persons of low intellect, I have only a very vague idea of what it actually means.

Let’s take SatNav for example. I know it’s a shortened form of Satellite Navigation. This is, I would suggest, A Good Thing. I don’t know how we’d find our way about London without it. You put in your desired destination and it produces a map with yourself on it, and you follow your route on the map on the real road and it gets you to where you want to go. (Sometimes.) Ours once led us onto a dirt track in the middle of a field of cabbages, with a rusting shed nearby and announced, You have reached your destination. John (and Rory) are extremely reliable on the time and place of a meeting. If they say they will be, let us say at 98 Clontarf Road, Dublin on 26 August at 3 pm, then they will be sliding silently into place at 2. 59 pm. The downside of this is extreme stress if they are going to be late. John is also extremely reluctant to ask for directions. He seems to regard it as a point of honour that he shouldn’t. However, here there was no alternative. We quit the cabbage field and enquired in the next village. He came back all smiles. We were in Portugal, not Spain, and it was an hour earlier than we had thought, and the hotel where we were meeting Anne Hall and her mother was just down the road, on the right.

However, I digress. Returning to the word SatNav; I don’t know whether I’m rendering it correctly; if it should be hyphenated, or spelt differently. But who cares, it’s not a ‘real’ word.

The word that is new to me (and should you be familiar with it, I bow low before your superior education) is PROROGUE. It’s apparently how Boris is going to emasculate parliament so he can get a No Deal Exit.

We were in a potting shed in Nyman’s gardens where they sell second hand books for £1 each. I spotted a book by one Adrian Room entitled Dictionary of Confusing Words and Meanings and fell on it with geeky pleasure.

Here on the first page is prorogation, along with abolition and dissolution. Abolition is the strongest and was applied to things generally held to be wrong, such as slavery and hanging. Dissolution was the taking apart of something (permanently) so a dissolution of parliament, or Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Prorogation is the discontinuing of parliamentary sittings without an actual dissolution. It is a perilous undertaking; persons who have attempted it in the past include Charles I, and Cromwell with his wonderful quote: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider ye might be mistaken. They didn’t think so then and they don’t now. When Jo Swinton, latest leader of the Lib-dems and as annoying a wee gynaff as you could hope to see – we’re going to get mighty sick of the sound of her voice – says she’ll fight with everything she’s got (I don’t think we need worry – it’s not a lot!) to prevent us from leaving Europe, I wonder how she’s got the nerve to call herself a democrat.

Perhaps she thinks (another useful entry in the book) she has refuted the arguments against following the referendum’s vote. But she hasn’t of course. She has only rebutted them.

Lots of fascinating things we can consider and discuss. What do you mean, you’d rather be in parliament​?,

PROROGATION

I love it when a new word arrives in our language. Well, the word I have in mind is not exactly new. Genuinely new words are generally born of modern technology, and here I have to confess that even when given an easy words explanation suitable for persons of low intellect, I have only a very vague idea of what it actually means.

Let’s take SatNav for example. I know it’s a shortened form of Satellite Navigation. This is, I would suggest, A Good Thing. I don’t know how we’d find our way about London without it. You put in your desired destination and it produces a map with yourself on it, and you follow your route on the map on the real road and it gets you to where you want to go. (Sometimes.) Ours once led us onto a dirt track in the middle of a field of cabbages, with a rusting shed nearby and announced, You have reached your destination. John (and Rory) are extremely reliable on the time and place of a meeting. If they say they will be, let us say at 98 Clontarf Road, Dublin on 26 August at 3 pm, then they will be sliding silently into place at 2. 59 pm. The downside of this is extreme stress if they are going to be late. John is also extremely reluctant to ask for directions. He seems to regard it as a point of honour that he shouldn’t. However, here there was no alternative. We quit the cabbage field and enquired in the next village. He came back all smiles. We were in Portugal, not Spain, and it was an hour earlier than we had thought, and the hotel where we were meeting Anne Hall and her mother was just down the road, on the right.

However, I digress. Returning to the word SatNav; I don’t know whether I’m rendering it correctly; if it should be hyphenated, or spelt differently. But who cares, it’s not a ‘real’ word.

The word that is new to me (and should you be familiar with it, I bow low before your superior education) is PROROGUE. It’s apparently how Boris is going to emasculate parliament so he can get a No Deal Exit.

We were in a potting shed in Nyman’s gardens where they sell second hand books for £1 each. I spotted a book by one Adrian Room entitled Dictionary of Confusing Words and Meanings and fell on it with geeky pleasure.

Here on the first page is prorogation, along with abolition and dissolution. Abolition is the strongest and was applied to things generally held to be wrong, such as slavery and hanging. Dissolution was the taking apart of something (permanently) so a dissolution of parliament, or Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Prorogation is the discontinuing of parliamentary sittings without an actual dissolution. It is a perilous undertaking; persons who have attempted it in the past include Charles I, and Cromwell with his wonderful quote: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider ye might be mistaken. They didn’t think so then and they don’t now. When Jo Swinton, latest leader of the Lib-dems and as annoying a wee gynaff as you could hope to see – we’re going to get mighty sick of the sound of her voice – says she’ll fight with everything she’s got (I don’t think we need worry – it’s not a lot!) to prevent us from leaving Europe, I wonder how she’s got the nerve to call herself a democrat.

Perhaps she thinks (another useful entry in the book) she has refuted the arguments against following the referendum’s vote. But she hasn’t of course. She has only rebutted them.

Lots of fascinating things we can consider and discuss. What do you mean, you’d rather be in parliament​?,

IS BORIS OUR MAN?

IS BORIS OUR MAN?

There is generally a honeymoon period between an incoming Prime Minister and the country, even for one who has bypassed the proper entry process (Boris, Gordon Brown, Theresa May.) They have arrived at the doors of No.10 by whatever method, and we wish them good fortune. This halcyon period does not last very long.

I find Boris interesting but quite difficult to understand. His obvious cleverness in his speech and wit is underwritten by a strategic cunning. In the recent ‘election’ he did not play to us, the country – which he would have to do to win a general election – but then he didn’t have to. He made his appeal to the Tory supporters, who were the only people voting – and this strategy paid off. I don’t understand why he plays the fool so much. We know he isn’t one; so who is he setting out to deceive?

I find myself surprisingly tolerant of Boris’s lapses from grace. He will not be brought down by irregularities in his personal life: we don’t expect anything else. (Whenever John Major dons the mantle of wise elder statesman and pontificates on some issue or other, I remind myself that this is the man who was stupid enough to have an affair with Edwina Curry, and the lack of taste displayed thereby.)

Boris has written a book on Winston Churchill and is known to be an admirer, which I find rather worrying. Churchill was wrong about absolutely everything – except for the one thing that really mattered. He was steadfast in his implacable opposition to Hitler and used his considerable powers of persuasion to steady the nerves of the British (we will fight them on the beaches; we will never surrender; etc.). For his unstinting service to our cause, and for his capacity to go on believing we would ultimately prevail, and to speak that part in his lion’s roar] we forgave him all his faults and took him for our hero. It really did seem to be a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man.

So here we stand, on our beaches, looking towards Europe. The hour has come upon us, but I am by no means certain Boris is our man. However, this a national emergency, so some sacrifices are required.

And so I wish Boris, the Prime Minister every success.